TOPEKA, KAN. — Plug and Play Topeka, an innovation accelerator for ag-tech and animal health industry startups, announced April 27 it has welcomed Bimini Pet Health, a Topeka-based pet supplement and treat manufacturer, as its newest corporate partner. The partnership is expected to facilitate the expansion of research and development into new product technologies for “highly differentiated” pet nutrition products.

Bimini joins Plug and Play’s founding corporate partners, which include Cargill, Evergy and Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

“Bimini is excited to partner with Plug and Play Topeka and continue our long-standing relationship with GO Topeka as we start the next chapter of our journey,” said Sam Al-Murrani, Ph.D., owner of Bimini. “As a growing animal health company, our focus is to become an innovation leader while bringing more jobs to Topeka and Shawnee County. We look forward to continuing to serve our city and community over the coming years, together with our partners.”

According to GO Topeka, the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor in which it’s located is “the world’s largest concentration of animal health companies and related industries.” More than 300 animal health-focused companies are based between Manhattan, Kan., and Columbia, Mo., including the top 10 companies in this category, which account for 56% — or $21.5 billion — of global animal health, diagnostics and pet food product sales.

“We are excited to announce our new partnership with Bimini Pet Health,” said Lindsay Lebahn, senior program manager for Plug and Play Topeka. “By combining our expertise, we aim to push boundaries and develop cutting-edge solutions that bring value to the animal health ecosystem. We look forward to collaborating and driving meaningful progress together.”

Plug and Play recently announced the 11 early-stage companies participating in the fifth cohort of its three-month startup program. The Plug and Play program was first announced in late 2020 and hosted its inaugural accelerator event in the spring of 2021. Since its founding, 65 startups have participated in the program, which have led to 17 pilot and proof-of-concept projects for local startups, according to GO Topeka. The program has also resulted in two successful collaborations between corporate partners and startups involved in the program.

“It’s exciting to see one of our local entrepreneurs come full circle, from starting up his own business and serving on our local boards to now signing on as a corporate partner of Plug and Play’s Animal Health Vertical here in Topeka,” said Stephanie Moran, senior vice president of innovation at GO Topeka. “Bimini truly embodies the health of our local startup community, and we look forward to working with this innovator to grow the area’s prominence in the animal health realm.”

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